The chronic condition forced Lady Gaga to cancel her world tour.

The chronic condition forced Lady Gaga to cancel her world tour.

US singer Lady Gaga says she’s “devastated” as she cancels her world tour due to “severe pain” caused by the condition fibromyalgia. So what is it?

What is fibromyalgia?
Also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), fibromyalgia is a long-term condition which causes pain all over the body.

As well as chronic pain, fibromyalgia can cause increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue and muscle stiffness, according to the NHS.

Sufferers can also have difficulty sleeping, as well as memory loss, concentration problems, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome.

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but researchers believe it may be related to chemicals in the brain and could be affected by genes inherited from your parents.

Often, the condition is triggered by a stressful physical or emotional event, like the death of a loved one, the breakdown of a relationship or an operation or physical injury.

Although anyone can develop fibromyalgia, it affects around seven times more women than it does men.

The Poker Face singer has cancelled her world tour. Pciture: AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS
How is fibromyalgia treated?
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, although the symptoms can be controlled to make it easier to live with.

Exercise has been found to help ease many painful symptoms, while others find relaxation techniques can help keep the condition under control.

Treatment could include a combination of lifestyle changes, painkilling medication and counselling or another form of therapy, like CBT.

Is there a test for fibromyalgia?
There’s no specific test for the condition, so diagnosing fibromyalgia can be difficult.

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Usually, sufferers will have severe pain in three to six different areas of the body, or milder pain in seven or more different areas.

These symptoms are also likely to have stayed at a similar level for at least three months.

If you think you may have the condition, the NHS advises that you visit your GP.

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Author: Dr James Robber

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